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Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. Four public media newsrooms are collaborating to report in depth on the root causes of our state's urban crisis -- and on possible solutions. Keystone Crossroads offers reports on radio, web, social media, television and newspapers, and through public events.Our partner stations are WHYY in Philadelphia, WPSU in State College and witf in Harrisburg. Read all of the partner stories here.Pittsburgh’s WQED joins the collaboration as an associate partner. Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Capitol Recap: Why Sunbury’s Police Scandal Matters

Emily Previti


The first thing you see inside Sunbury City Hall is Mayor David Persing's name on an office window.

Today, Persing's got back-to-back appointments running past 5 p.m. He's taking them at a conference table that fits easily in his chambers, along with a large, sturdy desk and ample shelving.

Persing is the part-time mayor of a town with fewer than 10,000 people.

His vote counts the same as the four other City Council members and he doesn't have veto power, under Sunbury's commission form of government.

But Persing's been in office since 1989, consecutively aside from one four-year stretch.

And Pennsylvania law specifies that in a commission government, the mayor oversees the police department — typically, the biggest local tax expense aside from education.

Find more of this report on the site of our partner, Keystone Crossroads